|My maternal grandfather's Carvell ancestry
My grandfather was Joseph Arthur Carvell, born in Markfield, Leicestershire, in 1886. His father, Samuel Henry Carvell, was born in Walcote, near Lutterworth, almost on the Leicestershire/Warwickshire border, in 1859, He was already working as a farmer's boy when he was 12, but in 1878, when he was about nineteen years old, he went to Warwick and enlisted with the 28th Infantry Brigade. In 1881 he held the rank of private... but he was stationed at the Tower of London! What an adventure that must have been for a young man from Walcote.
|Map of the Tower of London. Image from Genmaps. From an engraving by Richard Blome,
published 1755 by John Stow in A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster
|Samuel Henry Carvell's military history. Completed nearly ten years' service, including the reserves.
|An outing for Samuel Henry Carvell, a few months before the end of his life.
Leicester Daily Mercury, 20 July 1950, reproduced by kind permission of findmypast.com
Image copyright Trinity Mirror
Each of the generations of Samuel Carvells had several children, who also had several children. Each of the Carvell families tended to use the same set of names: Samuel, John, Joseph, Mary, Ann, Thomas, Sarah. (I had an uncle Sam Carvell, and an uncle Joe Carvell too--it carried on.) This means that it can be extra tricky matching up all the "right" children with the "right" families, when you piece the tree-puzzle together. All errors are my own...
Prior to a general migration to Leicester, around the same time as Samuel Henry's move to the city, the families lived in cluster of farming communities: Misterton, Walcote in Leicestershire, Churchover in Warwickshire, with their wives from neighbouring villages; Costerbach, Claybrooke Magna, Kimcote, Bitteswell. All centered around the market town of Lutterworth, which of course is where all the farming community would meet up.
But my research has faltered, stuck at Samuel and Elizabeth who married in Churchover in 1776. I have searched the parish records online, reading the digital copy of the hand-written book... but no birth records for either Samuel or Elizabeth, though they were both "of this parish" when married. Which only means they had both lived there during the times that the Banns were read.(It wasn't a huge deal to read the parish records for the relevant years; the population of Churchover was only about 300 in its heyday!)
There is another community of Carvells in nearby Hillmorton, Warwickshire, but I have not yet been able to make the connection. Same goes for a lot of Carvells in Everdon, Northamptonshire; not so very far away: a couple of hours by horse and cart. But... so far, no connection.
As for Elizabeth, the bride in 1776: it looks like her name is Durhead in the register, but that's what the person who wrote it down heard. Elizabeth signed with her mark; she did not write her name. I cannot find anyone else, anywhere, with that surname! It doesn't exist! I've tried imagining else it might be... either by staring at the signature for ages, wondering if the 'u' is an i, or if the 'r' is an n... also wondering about the sound of the name: was it Dread spoken slowly? Or Dafyd voiced very shyly? So far, I haven't found her. If you have... please let me know. Because I've been knocking up against this brick wall for well over ten years now!
But this is the fun of the puzzle!
I should probably just find all the Samuel Carvells born before 1776, and work out which one of them was the next one in my chain of Sams. That might do it!
(The Carvell name has been spelled in many ways across the years, and by different census takers and registrars. Carvell, Carvel, Carvill, Carvile: all part of the same family.)